It possesses a variety of gifts, and yet is united in love, without sect and schism. Of this community I also am a part and a member. This commitment to the church precludes identifying oneself as an atomized individual with one's own private belief[s] and piety and includes seeing oneself within a community of faith which is always prior to oneself and of which God the Holy Spirit makes use [of] for the accomplishment of His work. This approach includes an ecumenical dimension as well. Therefore, the renewal of the Church during the Reformation and after has repeatedly been accompanied by the recourse to the Scriptures, the origin and founding document of faith.
For the gospel, the rediscovery and preservation of which were the primary concerns of the Reformation, is indeed the same gospel to which witness is given in the Holy Scriptures by the Apostles and the Prophets, besides which there can be no other Gospel Gl Thus, Lutheran identity is not first and foremost a special identity; it rather lays claim to catholicity Arand ; Klan As in the Reformation, to renew the Church means to remain faithful to the one, holy, Catholic Church.
Thus, the Lutheran reformers raise the claim of ecumenical entitlement and take ecumenical responsibility for the doctrine stated in their confessions. It is therefore of great importance to reach an understanding, to establish a 'consensus', about what in fact this gospel is, and that with the intention of proclaiming it:.
It is enough for the true unity of the Christian church that the gospel is preached harmoniously according to a pure understanding and that the sacraments are administered in conformity with the divine Word. If therefore the Church comes about through the preaching of the Gospel and the administering of the sacraments, then the following holds true: What is necessary for the unity of the Church is that which constitutes the essence of the Church.
The converse is likewise true: What constitutes the essence of the Church is that which is required for its unity Klan This approach will always be the basic principle for Lutheran endeavours in the realm of ecumenism for the:. The Lutheran confessions as included in the Book of Concord of are not intended to be anything other than a rendering of the scriptural truth, concentrated on the Gospel. Therefore, the Gospel and the 'doctrine' of the Gospel are:. Klan ; cf. Bayer ; Fagerberg The actual meaning and significance of the Gospel, which shines through in the emphasis on its effectualness in actu, is in conformity with both the New Testament and the confession of faith of the Lutheran Reformation.
Hence the confession focuses on the centre of the Scripture, namely the Gospel, of which Jesus Christ is the quintessence and the living reality Klan ; cf. It is nevertheless true that the confession of faith, and no less the Lutheran doctrinal confession, is an introduction to the Scriptures and at the same time centres the Scripture from within the Scripture. This movement has indeed an unavoidably self-referential structure. Hence it is correct to speak of a 'hermeneutical circle': the confession of faith arises from the Word of God in Holy Scripture and leads back into it, however:.
And to this extent one can even say that the confession of faith is constitutive for the church, albeit only in this derivative sense. This standpoint. But then it must be ensured that the confession of the Church is and remains subject to the judgement of Scripture, as has been formulated in a lastingly valid manner by the Summary Concept of the Formula of Concord:. First, we confess our adherence to the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments, as to the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which alone is the one true guiding principle, according to which all teachers and teaching are to be judged and evaluated.
All in all: The confession focuses on the Scriptures and within the Scriptures on the focal point of the Gospel Kolb Since the answers that can be found in the condensed form of the confessional documents of the sixteenth century can have a high degree of plausibility even for today's contemporaries, they offer at the very least guidance for communicating faith today as well - Christian faith in its significance for our contemporaries. Slenczka Accordingly, the Lutheran confessions of faith are not simply 'instruction about' the Gospel - propositions and theory -nor are they merely an 'introduction to' the gospel.
Rather, they are a guideline for making practical application of the Gospel in order to cope with certain existential situations, pre-eminently that of the human being standing as a sinner before God. To this extent, the confessional texts constitute a guideline even for pastoral care, and thus in a decidedly not abstract manner. The confessions of faith circumscribe and define a sphere, a framework, in which ecclesiastically legitimate proclamation is possible Kolb It is a notable characteristic of the Lutheran Church that, unlike the Roman Catholic Church even after the Second Vatican Council , anything along the lines of a papal magisterium is foreign to it.
That means that there are no single authorities that, as such, have monopolies of interpretation cf. Klan ; Bayer A truly confessional stance is by no means just a retreat to distant historical documents; as a recourse to the Scripture it functions a guideline for the profession of faith. This can be shown in the Lutheran confessions themselves, for example, in Luther's catechisms.
A fine illustration of this can be found in the reformulation of Luther's question 'What is this? In terms of a modern language game: one can express the. The question: 'What is this? For example:. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Slenczka ; cf. Arand The confession of faith functions as a guideline for the act of confessing one's faith. The transfer into our times - which is the duty of the Church through proclaiming the Law and the Gospel to this time and world - has already been accomplished and set down in an exemplary manner Slenczka Exactly in this way, confessional statements:.
Klan ; Arand et al. In his book Dis-enclosure: The deconstruction of Christianity, Jean-Luc Nancy a maintains: 'We do know, that our entire tradition is Christian, that our provenience is Christian. This is what he labels a 'de-Christianization', nevertheless observing that 'Christianity and Occident are inseparable. Nancy a then - which does not happen unexpectedly - decidedly opposes a perception that it was an intrinsic disintegration of Christianity or Christendom that delivered western societies to their modern errors.
This is the philosophical comprehension, or rather: the ideological conclusion of a fundamental 'reversal' in thinking. The Nancy quotations follow the German edition, and are here rendered in my own translation; for the English edition see Nancy b. Christianity is regarded as a mere movement or structure of mentality, which can, in its development and tendencies, be analysed according to an internal logic.
But this means abstracting from the reality of a living God - even if in the way as Nancy a interprets the idea of a 'living God', as a cipheror code of openness. This renunciation consequently manifests itself in many ways, the crassest of which is evident in the fact that man suffers under the delusion that he is lord of himself - or even the whole world - whilst in reality his toil and effort only revolve around himself Kolb This is really the most devastating of all human delusions Jungel , 93, , which characterises the outlook of the modern Western mind since the Enlightenment, and represents - from a biblical-theological standpoint - a false notion of autonomy, or rather, a false concept of 'freedom' closely bound up with the notion of autonomy.
At the core of this struggle for what allegedly autonomous human beings believe to be 'freedom' is the delusion of being able to invigorate and master one's own life - without God. In the European history of ideas, as long as it was moulded by the biblical-Christian heritage and tradition, the norm of human life was God himself in his holiness and sovereignty Ex b He creates human existence and places human beings in relation to himself in such a way that they would speak to and answer him, that is, be accountable Kolb In this way, an immutable distinction between God and human beings, between creator and creation, is established Kolb This distinction cannot be denied, disregarded, or ignored without causing damage or destruction to God's well-intended and salutary purpose for humankind Kolb Thus, the unchangeable will of God, as expressed, for example, in the Ten Commandments, aims at nothing else than that humans should live as God's creatures, in the way that God has intended and determined them to live, and not to take themselves for God, the Creator - that is, 'as human beings among human beings in a shared and God-given world' Wenz , author's own translation.
Thus, God's commandments are primarily beneficial directives and helpful precepts; however, they are also critical standards for human life and conduct Kolb Neglect or even contempt of the God-given standards, as they are to be found, for example, in the Decalogue, may seem to be particularly prominent in societies shaped by post-Enlightenment mentalities. Nevertheless, God's admonition against 'covetousness' unmasks the addictive disposition of any sinner's attitude: selfishness, avarice, greed, craving for recognition and a great number of material or mental addictions cf.
Schaef But these tendencies are by no means restricted to what might be regarded a decadent, western, European mindset. Sinful phenomena may differ in the way they manifest themselves, and they may vary in their. The religious landscape of Europe is highly diversified: The north is predominantly mainstream Lutheran, with a state-church system in the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden [until January 01, ], Norway, Finland that originated in the Reformation and prevailed mostly to the end of the 20th century.
In the west of the Continent, France and Belgium are mostly Roman Catholic, but in a rather secular variation; the Netherlands are largely Calvinist, with the Lutherans having entered into a merger of a Protestant Church. In Great Britain, the Church of England still incorporates the majority of the population in England, whereas in Scotland the Calvinist tradition prevails. The southeast major parts of the Balkans, Greece , also is primarily Eastern- Orthodox. With regard to the diversity of the denominational, ecclesiastical, constitutional, national conditions across Europe, it seems to me difficult to summarise a diagnosis of what Philip Jenkins labels 'European Christianity' cf.
The self-perception of Europe as a political union is obviously secular. It is no contradiction to this fact that politicians from the spectrum of the conservative parties - by no means all of them! As the national. European Union , 'Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe', Official Journal of the European Union 47, 9; this draft was never formally received, rather superseded by the 'Lisbon Treaty' of ; cf.
European Union Interestingly, Luther at this point does not apply ethical or moral standards or church membership to support his judgement, rather he makes use of a truly biblical criterion, namely true faith. Since the late s, the Muslim portion of the European populations has recorded an increase in growth. Guest workers from Turkey were called to Germany in order to support the German post-World War 2 'Wirtschaftswunder' [economic miracle] with their manpower. In France, most inhabitants of the former French colonies are allowed to hold French passports; immigration to the economically attractive 'mother country' is therefore no big issue.
The situation in the Netherlands is similar, where immigrants from Indonesia form the significant group of foreign citizens. In addition, refugees and asylum seekers, also from countries with a Muslim identity, are found all over Europe. It can be easily shown that the birth rate of the immigrant part of the population exceeds the birth-rate of the long-established European population Jenkins In France, for example, the laical self-definition of the nation energetically opposes the wearing of the burka; the Belgian government has already imposed a ban on the wearing of the burka, and the Roman Catholic bishops of Switzerland have made a suggestion to do so as well Brotz The reasons for these vary: one is the obvious demonstration of religious convictions in public; another one claims to protect the dignity of women.
Nevertheless, it is hard to assess future developments. And in general, it is rather difficult to judge which of the various organisations that claim to represent 'the Muslims' in a given country really are in a position to speak on behalf of their fellow-believers.
What is more alarming, is the fact that in various countries across Western Europe, like Great Britain and Germany, we find converts to Islam who are prepared to join terrorist organisations and get drilled in training camps in order to perform assaults in their home countries, and thus engage in jihad; these are the so-called 'home-grown terrorists.
Here a few examples from the German situation: the German Federal Government has started to convene a 'German Islam Conference', presided over by the Minister of the Interior, in order to support a political-societal dialogue with Muslims and to strengthen their societal participation Deutsche Bundesregierung One of the goals of the political leaders is to impede any tendencies towards self-isolation in. Lutherans, however, and Christians in general I imagine, should be very aware of the fact that it was Luther, who staunchly opposed any attempt to crusade against the Turks.
It has to be deplored, nevertheless, that Christian churches in Europe, and Lutherans in particular, have done almost nothing in order to develop missionary strategies for Muslims. According to the German Constitution Deutscher Bundestag n. Since the late s, missionary activities in the city of Leipzig have been reaching out to Muslim migrants. In the meantime, a full-time missionary of the Mission of Lutheran Churches is working there. Obviously, these endeavours are but a drop in the ocean. In some parts of the East, where churches and Christians had been marginalised and oppressed by the communist rulers, the newly-gained freedom after the end of the Soviet rule allowed the churches to re-establish themselves; in various countries, they were given back their property, churches, parsonages, schools, et cetera.
Time and again, this led to major problems in terms of restoring or sustaining the buildings. This again caused different kinds of challenges. Much to the disdain especially of the Orthodox churches that are used to regard themselves as unrivalled 'churches of the country' Hallensleben ;. One might mention the initiative taken by the Lutherische Kirchenmission Bleckmarer Mission in the city of Leipzig, where migrants from Iran are being taken care of in many ways, cf. Gevers ; Lamprecht ; Zieger , cf.
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In line with Hypothesis 2a, symbolic threats showed a significant association with both anti-Muslim prejudice and anti-Islam sentiment. Terroristic threats, as proposed, showed a significant relation to anti-Islam sentiment, but, unexpectedly, no significant association with anti-Muslim prejudice. No significant relation between realistic threats and anti-Islam sentiment was found.
To assess the mediating role of the threats on the relationships between the predictor variable and the dependent variables, the total effects of the predictor were further decomposed into direct and indirect effects. Table 4 shows that for anti-Muslim prejudice, the indirect pathways are significant H3a , indicating full mediation through symbolic and realistic threats but not through terroristic threats.
As assumed H3b , full mediation is indicated for SDO via symbolic and terroristic threats on anti-Islam sentiment but not realistic threats see Table 4. The explained variance of endogenous variables is indicated by the squared multiple correlations SMC value. The goal of this study was first, to analyze whether Islamophobia empirically constitutes a one-dimensional or rather multi-dimensional construct.
Second, the effects of intergroup threats symbolic, realistic, and terroristic on Islamophobia were analyzed. Finally, SDO is tested as an antecedent of perceived threat and Islamophobia. It was assumed that all threats would mediate the effects of SDO on anti-Muslim prejudice, but only symbolic and terroristic threats would mediate the effects of SDO on anti-Islam sentiment.
To determine the relationships between the antecedent, threats, and Islamophobia, a structural equation model was tested. The assumptions of this study were mostly supported.
Several items that reflected frequently reiterated negative attitudes towards Muslims and Islam in German public debate were assessed. The results of a confirmatory factor analysis revealed two robust factors for prejudices against Muslims and anti-Islam sentiment. Second, previous studies on Islamophobia and intergroup threats did not analyze all three types of threats terroristic, symbolic, and realistic concurrently Doosje et al.
Therefore, they were not able to determine the effects of each threat individually while accounting for the effects of the others. Following the suggestions of Doosje et al. In turn, I argued that terroristic threats do not necessarily fall under the category realistic threats, which are predominantly associated with job and housing security and other economic concerns. The results of this study confirm that terroristic threats could not only be distinguished on a theoretical level, but they were also empirically different from symbolic and realistic threats, based on the results of the confirmatory factor analysis.
The assumption of Doosje et al. Moreover, terroristic threats explained a significant amount of variance in anti-Islam sentiment. Furthermore, as expected, terroristic threats were associated with anti-Islam sentiment but contrary to expectation, not with anti-Muslim prejudice. The association of anti-Islam sentiment with terroristic threats might be explained by understanding Islam as a proxy factor, which does not directly commit acts of terrorism yet is perceived as a contributing factor.
The nonsignificant relationship between terroristic threats and anti-Muslim prejudice is surprising, as previous research has found otherwise. However, the reason for this might be found in an asymmetrical distribution in the item wordings regarding terroristic threats, anti-Islam sentiment, and anti-Muslim prejudice: three out of three terroristic threat items mentioned Islamists but none referred to Muslims. In the anti-Muslim prejudice items, on the other hand, one item explicitly referred to Islamist terrorists, thus partially mitigating the asymmetry. The anti-Islam sentiment contained four items, all of which referred to Islam.
Obviously, this does not imply that Islamist and Islam are equal. Nevertheless, the results have to be interpreted in the light of this asymmetrical distribution. Regardless, when symbolic and realistic threats were excluded from the SEM, terroristic threat did show a significant association with prejudice against Muslims. As expected, realistic threats were associated with anti-Muslim prejudice but not with anti-Islam sentiment.
The significant association between realistic threats and anti-Muslim prejudice is in line with the findings of Riek et al. Their results indicate that realistic threats are a strong predictor for negative attitudes against low-status outgroups. Shifting our attention back to the first aim of this study, which is concerned with the dimensionality of Islamophobia, the results on the underlying threat mechanisms of Islamophobia corroborate the notion of a multidimensional model.
While symbolic threats were related to both dependent variables, realistic threats were only associated with anti-Muslim prejudices, and terroristic threats were only associated with anti-Islam sentiment. However, previous studies have not found a significant relationship between realistic threats and anti-Muslim prejudices. Nevertheless, the significant association between realistic threats and prejudice against Muslims is also consistent with research on the public perception of Muslims in Germany that Muslims are a social and economic burden to German society Foroutan, In sum, the different threat mechanisms that are associated with each proponent of Islamophobia further corroborate the assumption that Islamophobia is more accurately described as a multidimensional construct.
In the light of these results, a one-dimensional definition and operationalization of Islamophobia seems inadequate to describe negative attitudes against Islam and Muslims and the specific mechanisms that are associated with each of them. Future studies concerned with Islamophobia, at least from a social psychological perspective, would be well advised to further test whether Islamophobia constitutes a one- or rather multi-dimensional construct. A more diverse sample should be obtained in order to further examine the proposed multi-dimensionality.
Moreover, comparative studies with samples from other countries should shed further light on the topic at hand. As Islamophobia is a focal point in discussions about immigration and integration in Europe Sheridan, , a better understanding of the phenomenon should also help to develop more practical approaches for tackling the current intergroup tensions. Finally, following the suggestions of Stephan and Renfro , social dominance orientation was tested as an antecedent of threats and Islamophobia. Previous research indicates a significant association between SDO and intergroup threat Cohrs et al.
Nevertheless, theoretical assumptions, based on the Dual-Process Model Duckitt, , in which it has been hypothesized that SDO should primarily relate to realistic threats, were not consistently supported by empirical research Cohrs et al. In this line of research, Crowson suggests to further investigate the association between SDO and threats concerning the physical safety and well-being in conjunction with realistic and symbolic threats.
According to Crowson , this study therefore analyzed symbolic, realistic, and terroristic safety threats concurrently. Although the effect sizes of SDO on the threats varied only minimally, SDO was most strongly associated with realistic threats, followed by terroristic threats and symbolic threats. This finding is in line with the assumptions of the Dual-Process Model and previous research associated with it Duckitt, ; Esses et al.
The results of this study show, however, the varying effect of SDO on realistic threats related to jobs, accommodations etc. Therefore, adding terrorism-related safety threats into the equation, as proposed by Crowson , did not change the quality of relationship between SDO and realistic threats, as safety threats emerged as an empirically distinct construct. Future research on the relationship between SDO and different intergroup threats could further analyze the differential effects in other contexts where safety threats are not terrorism-related but associated with other forms of intergroup conflict and also analyse the differential effects in regard to different intergroup outcomes.
When threats were included in the model, SDO showed only indirect effects via all threats on Islamophobia. As expected, mediation effects were specific to the outcome variable. Overall, the results of this study provide further empirical support for considering SDO as an antecedent of threat and prejudices, as suggested by Stephan and Renfro Individuals with high SDO seem to exhibit more prejudice against Muslims and Islam indirectly via threats.
It is worth mentioning that this study used the shortened SDO scale Pratto et al. Future studies could be done to improve the reliability of the SDO measure. On a final note, some limitations of this study should be mentioned. First, it must be noted that due to the cross-sectional approach of this study, causal inferences are not possible. German media extensively covered the ongoing fighting in this region. Moreover, the relatively small sample of this study consisted mainly of students, meaning that the results of this study are not representative for German society as a whole.
Replicating this study with a more diverse or representative sample could reveal different results. Additionally, data acquisition was done via an online survey. The obvious advantage of online surveys is to reach respondents in a short time period and more cost effectively in comparison to the traditional paper-pencil method. Furthermore, online surveys could decrease the tendency for social desirability bias in responses, due to the anonymity of the web, resulting in more candid answers. From a practical perspective, the results of this study suggest that countermeasures and interventions against anti-Muslim and anti-Islam sentiment could critically address the following points.
By differentiating between symbolic, realistic, and terroristic threats, this study allowed for the independent examination of each threat type and their effects on prejudices and sentiments. Interestingly, realistic threats and symbolic threats but not terroristic threats had a significant effect on anti-Muslim prejudices in this sample. Although most of the realistic threats and symbolic threats operationalized in this study can scientifically be challenged as exaggerations Foroutan, , these perceptions best predicted anti-Muslim prejudices in this sample of well-educated and young individuals.
In light of this, measures to reduce anti-Muslim prejudices could aim to reduce symbolic and realistic threat perceptions by providing accurate information on Muslims and Islam in Germany. Moreover, in order to understand the complex processes involved in the evaluation of intergroup relations on the micro level, it is important to consider the effects of public debate, public policy, and the media on this process.
In the context of this study, it is noteworthy that the majority of people in Germany primarily rely on information from the media when it comes to Islam and Muslims, as a recent representative study demonstrates Foroutan et al. Furthermore, analyses on the representation of Islam and Muslims in the media indicate that Islam and Muslims are frequently represented as homogenous entities, which in turn are contextualized in negative framings e. In turn, public debates, public policy, and media coverage on Islam and Muslims could offer more balanced information, avoiding unreflected essentializing pictures of social category representations with the goal of reducing heightened threat perceptions and helping to avoid further intergroup tensions.
Along this line of thought, promoting alternative narratives which more accurately account for the complexities of intergroup relations could help reduce intergroup tensions. As Funk and Said suggest, alternative narratives should rely more on inclusive in-group perspectives Muslim and German , emphasizing similarities and shared goals between the groups, thereby opening new perspectives for collaboration and complementarity.
The results of the second section are available online Uenal, The third section of the survey will be published elsewhere paper accepted for publication. Migration history was assessed by asking whether participants were born in Germany and if at least one parent father, mother, grandfathers or grandmothers immigrated to Germany after Moreover, the birthplace of the parents and grandparents was assessed.
Finally, participants were also asked to indicate if they possess the German citizenship for further information, Federal Statistical Office, The results showed good discriminant validity factor correlations ranged between. I would also like to thank Friederike Sadowski for her helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. Allport, G. The nature of prejudice. Altemeyer, B. Zanna Ed. Bagozzi, R. Assessing construct validity in organizational research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 36 , Benz, W. Benz Ed.
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